I’ll say this upfront, I had no idea who Mr. Linaweaver was before today, and I apologize if what I’ve written here is offensive to anyone. It’s not my intent. Here’s what happened.
I was catching up with posting’s on Mike Glyer’s File 770 SF fanzine when I came across an article called Brad Linaweaver (1952-2019). First of all, I’m chagrined to say that up until this writing, I had no idea who Linaweaver was and now it’s my mission to read his works. After all, I’m barely two years younger than he is, or rather was.
As I said above, I absolutely mean no disrespect upon him or his loved ones in writing this wee essay, but something Glyer wrote not only caught my attention, it seized it in an iron grip:
I met Brad long ago through other Libertarian fans and knew about his good sense of humor – he attended the satirical Hogu Ranquets organized at Worldcons by Elst Weinstein and John Novak. –emph. mine
I’m sorry, did Glyer just call himself a libertarian? Trust me, I’m amazed.
I actually can’t call myself the same, but I do have some libertarian leanings. That said, I’m hardly an Ayn Rand devotee and I think she was a terrible, terrible author among other things.
I don’t know Linaweaver’s political affiliations, and frankly, they don’t really matter. What matters is that another talented human being has left this spinning sphere, and I have no doubt his passing is mourned.
In a previous blog post of mine, I challenged camestrosfelapton to prove to me that, as they said, a conservative would have no trouble winning a Hugo award, assuming the quality of the nominated story was up to snuff.
Now there seems to be some evidence that conservatives, or at least libertarians, are not necessarily considered the pariah of the SF/F world. That’s something of a contradiction to everything I’ve understood up until now.
I did find out that Linaweaver was praised by Ronald Reagan, who, as you may remember if you’re old enough, was a pretty conservative guy (and President).
I’m suddenly feeling a bit hopeful about my writing being accepted by a wider audience.
All that said, and again, I mentioned this above, I could be considered as exploiting the death of another human being and the grief of that person’s friends and family. That is certainly not my intent, but I realize my words could be interpreted that way. However, I’m writing this in my own fashion, to demonstrate that modern entertainment in general and Science Fiction in particular, doesn’t have to be and certainly shouldn’t be, owned by any single political party, social perspective, or ideological viewpoint.
There’s room for all of us at the table. All I, and all the authors out there like me want, is to pull up a chair.
Rest in peace, Brad Linaweaver. I never knew ye or your stories, but I can change the latter.
9 thoughts on “A Revelation on the Recent Passing of Brad Linaweaver”
I’ve been commenting at File 770 since 2015. I have no real idea what Mike Glyer’s politics are.
Part of the framing we saw from a commenter on your previous post was that the Sad Puppy campaigns were an attempt to show bias against conservatives. The assumed corollary to that claim was that anybody opposing the Sad Puppies must therefore be a leftist. Neither of those conclusions fit the facts well. Reality is far more complex and many people disliked the Sad Puppy campaigns for reasons other than the political stance of some of its leaders. In addition some people had good reason to object to the politics of Vox Day and his involvement in the Rabid Puppies and voted accordingly – you don’t have to be leftwing to find Day objectionable.
I’m not married to Vox Day, but I will suggest that some people are overly attached to the demands of their politics, whether conservative or liberal. Perhaps extremists on both sides of the fence are wrong.
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Thank you, James Pyles, for your posting about Brad Linaweaver. I am one of his oldest friends. We met on the first day (orientation week) of our freshman year in college (Florida State University). We were at a YAF meeting, sitting at opposite ends of a long table in a room filled with young conservatives. In the “introducing ourselves” segments Brad mentioned that he had had a letter published in the December 1969 issue of Analog taking John W. Campbell to task for Campbell’s stand on smoking. Campbell was for it, Linaweaver agin it. I replied that I agreed with Brad and the rest of the YAFers became irrelevant since we were now talking about SF.
We have been friends ever since. He introduced me to the works of Ray Bradbury. And I forced him to read Heinlein. He had been avoiding Heinlein after he had tried to read some of his adult fiction back in elementary school. Not only did he love his reintroduction to Heinlein but later met him and Ginny and eventually, after Heinlein’s passing, we became frequent visitors to Ginny when she was living in Jacksonville. Brad was also a good friend of William F. Buckley, Jr. until that writer’s death.
Politically: in short – Linaweaver was a libertarian who came from the old-school-conservative roots – which he never betrayed.
I hope you enjoy his books and short stories.
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Thank you for your kind and informative comments, William. I appreciate you stopping by and “chatting.” I look forward to reading Brad’s work.
Bill Ritch and I have competing claims for position among Brad’s oldest friends. He met Brad one week before I did, so there’s that, but I am several months older than Bill so, from an obsessively literal point of view I can claim to be the older friend.
But anyway, since you mentioned that you might try to find some of Brads work to read I will offer some advice about a place to start. Brad was quite a a fine writer who produced his best work when in harness, contributing to some sort of project. His best work for new readers is the material he wrote on commission such as his novelizations of the Sliders television series or his collaboration with Richard Hatch on several Battlestar Galactica books. His contributions to anthologies were also quite strong. Those of us who knew Brad treasure his solo work because they remind us most strongly of Brad but new readers might want to start with his less self-indulgent works.
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I just looked and sadly, the only thing I can find by him in my local library system is a short story he wrote for the anthology “The best alternate history stories of the 20th century / edited by Harry Turtledove with Martin H. Greenberg.” I was hoping there was more.
Yes, Brad’s work isn’t easy to find in libraries — or anywhere — but there are a few places one can look. His books show up on eBay and will either be relatively cheap — as used books — or absurdly expensive — as collectable books. Books worth picking up are “Worlds of Tomorrow” — a lovely coffee table book full of pulp covers that he co-authored with Forrest Ackerman; “Moon of Ice” — his most awarded novel; Any of the “Doom” novelizations which he co-authored with Daffydd ab Hugh; And the several “Battlestar Galactica” books he wrote with Richard Hatch. It’s also worth checking your local used book stores, particularly for the Sliders and Battlestar Galactica series books.
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